The playground at The Country Club at Mirasol serves its youngest members with an impressive outdoor space where kids can be kids.
With green space to explore and equipment to climb, jump and swing on, a well-equipped park can provide hours of entertainment for the entire family.
When The Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., added a youth-oriented recreation space, it didn’t skimp on the amenities. About 10 years ago, the club began to see an influx of young professionals into the area. Today, Mirasol has transformed into a family club with a membership that includes 300 children under age 18. “Our Board and management recognized that we needed to invest in our young members,” says Matt Lambert, General Manager.
Now, a dynamic sports complex offers an indoor recreation center and lounge, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, and a playground and sports field.
|The Country Club at Mirasol
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Architect: Jeffrey Ornstein, P.A.
The 4,500-sq. ft. playground has several different sections, with everything from slides to climbing structures. To determine what kind of equipment to install, the club enlisted the expertise of highly qualified “test users”: kids. Deborah Ross, Director of Special Projects, took five children to five different parks in the area and asked them to run around, test out different pieces of equipment, and provide feedback.
“When we got back to the car, we discussed what they all liked and disliked about each park,” says Ross. “Then, we went back to the club and put together a PowerPoint that we presented to Matt.”
Taking the children’s feedback into account, the club chose a wide range of equipment, all of which requires minimal maintenance and has a 10-year warranty. “The playground has been a favorite for the little kids at our club,” says Lambert.
Synthetic turf made with a granulated gel product that lowers the surface temperature allows kids to play with or without shoes. The club also added a state-of-the-art system under the turf that provides soft padding, to help cushion trips and falls and reduce injury. “It is highly elastic and provides incredible shock absorption,” says Lambert.
For further safety, the playground is fenced in, and security cameras are mounted throughout the entire complex. To keep the equipment cooler and the children more comfortable in the hot Florida sun, the club also added three permanent shade structures. Tall trees surrounding the play lot also provide shade throughout the area.
With chaperoning parents and grandparents in mind, the club added benches around the perimeter of the playground and a gazebo structure with a picnic table adjacent to the space.
To create a true park feel, the club also has a large turf field that offers kids an open space to play games and run around.
“This area is a critically important part of the complex, because most of the homes here have smaller lots with little outdoor green space,” says Lambert.
Making sure that the sports complex blended in with the rest of the property was a top design priority for the club. “We wanted to make sure that this area would not stick out like a sore thumb on our property,” says Lambert. “So we hired the original architect who did the clubhouse and we used lush landscaping, which has made this area look like it was always meant to be here.”